Donna Morin -Flannery's Blog
If you’re looking for a home, your budget is probably one of your biggest concerns. With all the costs associated with a home purchase, spending more money to hire a real estate agent might feel like adding unnecessary expense. However, there are some serious benefits to hiring a real estate agent to help you in your home search. Here are some of the major reasons real estate agents benefit homebuyers:
Many homebuyers shy away from the idea of hiring a real estate agent on top of the other expenses for a home. However, most times a real estate agent can actually get a better purchase price than if you were to do your home search on your own. Not only do agents have access to exclusive listings you don’t see on portal sites like Zillow or Trulia, but they’re professional negotiators. When you find a house you love they will help you decide on an offer that’s fair and within your budget. Your budget is their priority and they have all the skills and savvy to negotiate in your favor.
Real estate agents have access to their local multiple listing service (MLS). This giant database of property listings can sometimes include hundreds of homes you won’t find anywhere else on the internet. Agents also have experience in navigating the MLS and know exactly what to search for in order to find the best options. Sometimes agents can suggest off-market listings that will soon be available or properties that for whatever reason wouldn’t show up in a web search. A real estate agent truly provides an advantage in your search.
Help With Paperwork
Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork. With all the contracts, tax forms and other documentation it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, a real estate agent can do the complicated work for you and explain it in ways that are easy to understand. Rather than just ask you to sign off on contracts blindly, they can go over the meaning behind the jargon and other potentially confusing details. This can save hours of extra work and stress in an already daunting process.
The real estate market is constantly changing. Depending on where you’re looking for a home, things like price and mortgage rates can fluctuate seemingly without reason. An excellent advantage to working with a real estate agent is that they are watching the market and keeping track of changes that could affect you. They will give you information about the current state of the market in your local area and on a national level. This can help with aspects of the process like price negotiations and availability of properties for sale.
Real estate agents are experts in more than just the local market. They also know information about schools, business, infrastructure and other details important to your home decision. They can provide you with valuable advice about the best neighborhoods or any potential issues with areas you might be interested in. This is especially important if you’re moving to a brand new city or region. Coming into a brand new place with the right information and guidance will help you find the best home for the best price.
The cost of hiring a real estate agent varies based on their personal fees and commission rates. Regardless, the benefits of working with an agent to find a home make it well worth factoring into your home buying budget.
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There is a lot of talk these days about eco homes, but it's important to remember that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an eco home. An eco home does not have to have a specific design style or meet certain qualifications in order to be designated as such. Rather, an eco home is more of a concept. It's the idea of building a home that allows people to work toward achieving their personal sustainability goals.
What is an Eco Home?
Eco homes are defined as a residence that was designed in order to minimize its impact on the environment. Eco homes may be referred to as sustainable homes, green homes or environmentally-friendly properties. In some cases, a home is considered an eco home because it was designed with sustainability in mind and built with responsible materials. In other cases, a home is labeled as an eco home because upgrades have been made in order to make it an efficient property that results in minimal waste of resources.
Common Features in Eco Homes
There is no set criteria for an eco home, however, many of these homes have similar features. These are the most common features that can be found in an eco home:
- Large windows that allow for plenty of natural light.
- Extra insulation to improve the efficiency of the home's HVAC unit.
- Solar panels to take advantage of opportunities to utilize renewable solar energy.
- Low-flow toilets to conserve water.
- Energy-efficient appliances to reduce the amount of energy used in the home.
When it comes to designing an eco home, you have the flexibility to include the features that work best for your personal goals and lifestyle needs.
Are Eco Homes Expensive to Build?
Many people shy away from the idea of creating an eco home because they think it will come with a hefty price tag. While some eco-friendly amenities are more expensive initially, it's important to remember that many of these efforts will result in long-term cost savings. In addition, you have the freedom to select the sustainable features that fit within your budget. You do not have to have a luxury-sized budget in order to enjoy the benefits of an eco home. You can make a plan that works for you, and begin taking small steps toward living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Benefits of Investing in an Eco Home
In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, there are many other benefits associated with living in an eco home. Here are a few that you may enjoy:
- Your eco home may require less maintenance than a traditional home. Sustainable building materials are notoriously durable, and often reduce the need for short-term repairs and maintenance.
- Your property value may increase. Eco homes are in high demand, so the investments that you make now in sustainability will pay off in the long-term.
Remember that an eco home does not necessarily have to be a new construction property. You also can transform an existing home into an eco home by making small adjustments or investing in major upgrades. Regardless of whether you build a new home or update your current property, you will find that it's very rewarding to live in an eco home.